The Government of Ontario has moved to create the College of Kinesiologists in Ontario (CKO), a regulatory body that will legitimize and regulate the profession. As of April 1, 2013, a person must be registered with the College to practice kinesiology in Ontario. Registration with the College permits the member to use the protected title “kinesiologist” and the designation “R.Kin.” This is a critical decision that will require professionals in the field to adhere to a common set of professional standards, a code of ethics, as well as participate in ongoing professional development. Currently, the province has associations for many healthcare professionals, including the College of Nurses of Ontario and the College of Psychologists of Ontario, among others, that correspond to York’s programs in the Faculty of Health.
“The graduates of York University’s BA and/or BSc degree programs in Kinesiology are looking forward to entering the newest health regulated profession in Ontario – a certified kinesiologist,” says Angelo Belcastro, Chair of the Kinesiology and Health Science program at York.
The list of competencies that will be tested include knowledge, kinesiology practical experience, professionalism/ professional practice, and professional development. “The academic competencies identified by the College of Kinesiologists of Ontario are all contained with the program’s core or mandatory courses – it will not be necessary for students to take any additional courses than those already aligned within the School’s major regardless of degree,” adds Belcastro.
The business of the CKO is to maintain a register of Kinesiologists in Ontario and to provide government-sanctioned self-regulation for the profession of kinesiology in Ontario in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act (1991) and The Kinesiology Act (2007); and in the interest of the public.
“The extensive requirement for practical experience fits very well with the School’s philosophy and practice of expanding our student’s opportunities for hands-on experiential learning. A good many of the School’s courses offer formal and informal practical skills aligned with the practice competencies required by the CKO. The extensive focus on having our students practice all aspects of Kinesiology places York’s Kinesiology and Health Science program above other programs,” says Belcastro.
The new College of Kinesiologists of Ontario is mandated to protect the public by holding its members accountable and by investigating any complaints. This new certification, combined with how well positioned York’s School of Kinesiology and Health Science is to meet the regulations, will help York students succeed as healthcare professionals.